In any sort of sales business, making sure that your potential customers are confident in your businesses’s ability to deliver to them the product or service they wish to acquire, with the least amount of risk and hassle as is possible, is absolutely crucial. Minimizing the amount of perceived risk your potential customers are likely to experience is crucial. Trust plays a big role in making consistent sales. There’s no way around it — if potential buyers don’t trust your business to deliver a good product, with at least a reasonable standard of customer service, and a reasonable degree of confidence that you will make good should anything go wrong that’s within your ability to remedy, your business will falter. You must build trust. You brand lives and dies by the level of confidence consumers have in it.
This is even more of a truism in the online world than it is in the real-world of brick-and-mortar retail. The reason being is that people can gain trust through face-to-face human interaction. Simply standing in front of a representative of your business and conversing with them will deliver psychological cues to a customer which provide them with a sense of ease — if your business is legit, of course, and your representative presents his or herself well. In the on-line world, however, your business is not able to reap the benefits that come from direct, human interaction. Providing your customers with a sense of confidence and trust in your business’s abilities to meet their needs is just as crucial as it is in the world of traditional sales, but much more difficult to achieve through an online store.
Offering a money back guarantee to your customers is probably the most powerful, and one of the easiest, things you can do to help instill confidence in your customers. If a customer is entertaining any sort of suspicion that they may not receive satisfaction when buying from you, knowing that they have a method for getting their money back, should anything go wrong, will go along way in helping them decide to make the purchase. What people tend to fear most when shopping on-line is losing their money. If their purchase comes with a money back guarantee, they will be much more likely to buy from you.
Many years ago, in the early days of the internet, I marketed an information product which explained to small-business owners exactly what they must do to get their business set-up with its own website. This was the mid-1990s, and every business wanted to acquire an internet presence, but few people knew how to go about doing it. It was even a difficult task for most to locate experts or consultants to hire that would coach them, or do it for them — not many existed at the time. The internet was just that new. I did, however, have some experience in this — as, I was actually using the internet years before most people had ever even heard of the word ‘Internet’. So, I put together a truly exhaustive information product that would walk a small-business owner through the process, step-by-step. And, I began marketing it and selling it at a price of $99.95.
For about the first ten months, sales for the package were healthy, but not spectacular. And, while I couldn’t really complain, I was, at the time of its launch, expecting to do much better with it. The product came with a 30-day money back guarantee, but in that first ten months I had not received a single request from anyone wanting their money back — not one — despite a fair amount of them having been shipped. I was convinced, based on this, that very few people were likely to be dissatisfied and return the product to me for a refund. Obviously, people felt the product was delivering what it promised, and they were receiving good value. So, I changed the simple, single line in my sales copy that read something along the lines of
“If you’re not satisfied with this package, simply send it back at any time within 30 days for a full refund.”
In prominent, enlarged, bolded and colored typeface, I replaced that line with the following and drew a bold border around it and a red arrow pointing to it:
“I’m so completely confident that you’ll find this package to be of such incredible value, that you can contact me at any time and ask for 100% of your money back! That’s right! A full, 100% money-back, lifetime guarantee! No hassles! No questions asked! You can even keep the entire package and I’ll issue you a refund for the full amount, plus a dollar for having inconvenienced you with your purchase. That’s how confident I am that my package will deliver exactly what it promises AND MORE!!!”
Almost overnight, my sales shot-up by close to 400%!!! And, yes, the amount of refunds I found myself issuing did increase a little — I did have to process a couple here and there. But, they didn’t increase anywhere near as much as my profits did — not even close. The reason for this drastic increase in sales, of course, was due to the confidence that potential customers gained from my money back guarantee.
So, make sure your business is offering a money-back guarantee anywhere and everywhere that doing so is feasible. And, make sure your customers know about it — make sure your money-back offer is prominently displayed.
Here’s a secret to making monster sales: Know that in order to convert a potential customer into a paying customer, there’s only two things you need to do. You must raise the level of perceived value in your customer, and, at the same time, lower the level of perceived risk. If you can get the first one high enough, and the second one low enough, they will buy from you. Making sales is about getting the degree of difference between those two things as wide as is possible in your potential customer’s mind. The greater the difference between the height of perceived value, and the depth of perceived risk in your potential customer, the more likely they’ll be to make the purchase. Get the difference between those two things wide enough and they absolutely will not be able to resist making the purchase. Offering a rock-solid money-back guarantee will go a long way in helping you lower any perceived risk your potential customers may be experiencing.